This is a Quick braised chicken with porcini and thyme risotto, big flavours in a hurry. Make it after work in 30 minutes.
By Tania Cusack
One of my favourite ingredients is Porcini Mushrooms. I can’t resist the smell of them. I feel uplifted when smelling the bulk boxes of them in the warehouse at work. Someone… stop me… before …I ..hyperventilate. It’s a bit like smelling freshly roasted coffee, if you like it it is irresistible. Sniff till you see stars.
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 small carrot finely diced
- ¼ cup finely diced celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 500gm ( approx) chicken thigh fillet cut into large chunks
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 2 anchovies
- 1½ cups stock or a combo of porcini water and stock
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 small clove garlic
- ½ an onion chopped
- 1 cup Carnaroli rice
- ½ cup white wine ( optional,can be replaced with stock)
- 1 litre chicken broth (4½ cups approx)
- 30 gm butter – 1 heaped Tablespoon ( or more if you want)
- 50 gm parmesan cheese – 2 tablespoons ( add more if you like or extra for sprinkling on when eating)
- Put the Porcini into a jug or bowl and add 1 cup of warm water or enough to cover them and set aside
- Put a thick bottomed pot on the stove and heat well before adding the 4 Tablespoons of oil. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, carrot, anchovies and thyme and stir vigorously until softened. Add the chicken pieces and continue to stir on high till well coloured and browned on the out side.
- Add the tomato paste and continue to stir till the paste is coating all of the chicken and vegetables and is also getting a nice brownish colour. Then add the red wine Turn the heat down a little now.
- Drain the Porcini into a bowl , keeping the water. Add the mushrooms to the chicken with 1 cup of stock. Let the Porcini water stand for a minute so that any grit from the mushrooms will sink. Use about ½ to ¾ of it and leave the rest behind. Let this simmer covered while you make the accompaniment ( risotto, rice, quinoa or fregola. The sauce will reduce by about ½.
- Put a pot on and add the olive oil, garlic,onion and thyme and soften (sweating for several minutes) before adding the rice and toasting. Keep this moving until you have added some liquid. Once the rice is coated and warm add the white wine and let the bubbles subside, before adding ½ of the chicken stock. Stir well and turn it right down. At this stage you can walk away for several minutes if you need to , just stir occasionally.
- Once the first lot of stock has been absorbed and you have stirred well. Add another ½ of the remaining stock and continue. You may need to watch it more closely from now on. Test the grains of rice, to make sure they are nearly cooked. if you feel they need a lot more time and liquid add the remaining stock and stir on low. ( depending on your rice you you use you may need a little more or less than the full 1 litre ).
- Your rice should be quite loose. ( as the rice sits it will gather up any of the liquid that is around it) Add the butter and cheese and salt and pepper to taste and put the lid on and sit for 5 or 10 minutes, enough time to check the chicken and call the eaters
- Add chopped parsley or spinach to the Quick Braised Chicken with Porcini, if you like.
After completing Culinary School in Sydney, Tania travelled the world working as a Chef in restaurants, doing catering and cooking on road for a travel company in Europe and the US. Once back at home, the birth of her son meant a change, and during his small years, she enjoyed jobs in wholesale food, buying Artisan food products, testing and recipe writing as sales and educational tools. Tania is now back to what she loves, working as an in house Chef for a large retailer, conducting Cooking Classes and writing recipes for her blog.